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Asia Pacific Customs Cooperation


MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE NEW ZEALAND CUSTOMS SERVICE

FRIDAY OCTOBER 25 2002

Asia Pacific Customs Cooperation

Asia Pacific Customs administrations have agreed to enhance cooperation in the fight against Customs offences and other trans-national crime.

Delegates from 21 Asia Pacific Customs administrations have been meeting in Auckland this week along with representatives from the World Customs Organisation, the Oceania Customs Organisation and the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office.

New Zealand is currently the chair of the Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation.

The meeting endorsed a Regional Strategic Plan that sets out a number of specific steps to be taken over the next two years to improve cooperation and strengthen the capabilities of regional members.

That will see Customs administrations sharing expertise in areas such as information technology, enforcement, tariff classification and valuation of goods.

Those at the meeting also made a commitment to improving links with other international organisations.

New Zealand Comptroller of Customs Robin Dare says while the Asia Pacific region is very diverse the meeting was collaborative in nature, reaching consensus on many issues.

“Customs business is international by nature, and forums like this are a valuable opportunity to develop a common approach.”

Robin Dare says the balance between facilitating trade and protecting national borders is always challenging and he noted that these issues are also being discussed at the APEC meetings in Mexico.

The Asia Pacific Regional meeting concludes at midday today.

ENDS

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